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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Week In Yum - Taste of Toronto and Collingwood's The Smoke


Taste of Toronto


So, the weekend of June 23-26 was the annual Taste of Toronto at Fort York here in Toronto and it was bigger and badder than ever, with a giant roster of guest chefs doing cooking demos, presentations, wine tastings and food to try from a veritable who's who of Toronto restaurants. This year, due to construction inside the Fort, it was held on the grounds surrounding the actual interior area of Fort York and everyone I spoke to preferred it. There was a ton of shade and it felt more spread out and less crowded than in previous year.


Tickets to the three day event were $29 online and you purchased your food and drink using a "crown" system. You loaded up a card with "crowns" with the word crown really meaning $1, probably in an attempt to take the sting off paying $10 for a small plate of food. This is not a cheap event and it's best to go in a small group that so you can not only divide and conquer to avoid lots of line ups but so that you can also try a few bites of more items. If you are on your own, it will get very expensive very quickly and you will fill up before you can taste all of the treats that you have your eye on. There are so many delicious things to try and you will want to try them all, trust me so bring friends and come hungry. Both last year and this year, my favourite dishes (and best bang for your buck) came from Los Colibris and El Cabillito - a friend and I shared the tosdada de cochinita pibil and the empanada de tinga we both agreed that these made us very, very happy. Honestly, I have never had anything here that I didn't think was very good and as soon as I commit to one favourite, three more things pop up in my brain.

The seating/shade situation has been a problem with Taste but this year, it was perfect

This year, there were more tables and seating, lots of shade to relax with a beer and ponder your map and decide which food vendor you are going to hit up next. Despite the steep price tag, this is really one of my favourite Toronto food events as it's so well curated, it runs smoothly, it's outdoors and it really is worth the splurge to get the chance to try food from restaurants that are often difficult to get into to and watch your favourite chefs in action in a beautiful, outdoor spot. If you missed this year's event, make sure to keep your eye open this time next year so that you won't miss out on the fun again.


SnapChat, I can't quit you (follow me at theyumyumfactor)

We spent Canada Day weekend with friends near Creemore and it was a weekend full of fun and sun with a Saturday afternoon visit to Collingwood. Despite the fact that Collingwood is a hugely popular ski town (Blue Mountain which I really think should be renamed Blue Pretty Big Hill, but I digress) in this neck of the woods, I have never been there, probably because I don't really "do" winter. Okay, I apres ski really well but I skip that whole spending the day out in the cold, zooming down the hill with the even colder wind in my face, barely avoiding a snapped tibia and go straight to the hot toddies.

The town is adorable, lots of great shops, cafes and places to eat and much more interesting, to me, in the summer. On the recommendation of a number of friends, we decided to lunch at The Smoke. As soon as we got out of the car in the parking lot, my nose told me that we had come to the right place.


We all had the straight up pulled pork sandwich (Shack and I shared one) with coleslaw and poutine on the side.


Usually disappointed by pulled pork at most restaurants, I was pleasantly surprised by the pork - tender, moist, not overwhelmed with sweet sauce, one of my largest complaints. There was an array of sauces at each table and after some experimenting, Shack and I settled on a squirt of South Carolina honey mustard  and a squirt of a tangy spiced vinegar sauce that had some bite to it. The coleslaw was really delicious and absolutely made the way I like it. Creamy, a bit sweet with a slight tang to it and really fresh and crunchy.

Although they have a nice looking patio, it was hot and we were feeling a bit frageelay (code for hung over) so we sat indoors. The place is spotless and kind of looks a bit like a really high end auto shop but it smells like the place I want to go to die.



TheSmoke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The following week was uneventful as I was sick for most of the week following Canada Day but I am up and at 'em with three food events to attend this week alone so my next Week In Yum will be full of stuff to share.

If you live in Toronto and want to join me for my next Supper Club, it's taking place on Thursday July 21 at The Kingston Social in the east of the city. Tickets are $65 and that includes a specialty cocktail and more food than any human can possibly eat.
You can grab tickets online here